Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Inspires Your Creativity?

For the majority of my life, I considered myself the least creative person on the planet.  What changed that?  In 2003, my very good friend, Marilyn Myers, taught me the basics of a new craft, beading.  Very quickly I discovered that making beaded jewelry speaks to my soul in a way that no other craft ever has (and I’ve tried most of them!).  In the ensuing months and years, I read every beading magazine and book I could get my hands on.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the designers who have generously shared their art in so many publications.

As I learned new beading techniques, I practiced them until I was relatively confident.  Then a couple of years ago, it snuck up on me.  Suddenly I found myself envisioning jewelry designs while I was in the shower, while lying in bed trying to fall asleep at night, or while riding my bike to my little bead shop.  I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, but I keep a sketch book these days to document ideas while they’re fresh. 

At times, when I first envision a design, I’m able to clearly identify the source of inspiration, and at other times, ideas seem to come from out of the blue.   Yet I believe that all creative ideas generally have a source of inspiration, even if we’re unaware of it.

I’ve had a design idea percolating in my head for the past several days, ever since I picked up this gift card tin at Dollar Tree:



Every design I envision expands on the polka-dot theme in multiple ways.  I find it kindof interesting that my brain doesn’t focus so much on the palette, for example, but instead focuses on the pattern.  I wonder why that is?  I also wonder what process leads my inner muse to demand that I cut circle-shaped discs from the sheet metal of this tin, and use them as links or dangles.  Why doesn’t she, for example, encourage me to cut a trapezoid shape that would be used as a pendant?  Is it because I’m not creative enough?  Is my poor, overtaxed brain stuck in a circular rut?


I also wonder if I would be equally inspired by a photograph of a handful of marbles scattered on the floor.  What about a table full of cakes for the cake walk at a school carnival?  My mother’s button basket?  An advertisement for tires?  What determines which visuals (or sounds, textures, tastes, or aromas) are destined to inspire a jewelry design?

Creative inspiration is still very much a mystery to me, albeit a mystery I enjoy the fruits of!  I’d like to know what sorts of things inspire you as well as your thoughts on determining the source of creative inspiration.

Artbeads just announced a “What Inspires You?” necklace beading contest:  http://www.artbeads.com/what-inspires-you-design-contest.html?cmp=smfb.  They have prizes in two categories and entries are open through November 22, 2010.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries and inspires other artists.


I hope your muse is with you, and that you have a very beadiful day!

4 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic post. I love your approach to things! I was thinking of cutting circles from that as well but making sure that the bubbles are cut off and floating through them. But I think I like you trapezoid idea even better! And all this from a dollar store find. Such a gift you have for finding inspiration everywhere, something that I am very passionate about.
    Thank you for sharing your inspiration.
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  2. Erin, thank you!!! You don't know how much it means to me to hear that. And I'm so glad SOMEone is reading my blog! ;^D

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